The Bleak State of the News Media

"Newspaper ad revenues have fallen 23% in the last two years. ... By our calculations, nearly one out of every five journalists working for newspapers in 2001 is now gone, and 2009 may be the worst year yet," reads the summary of the "State of the News Media 2009" report. In local television, "revenues fell by 7% in an election year -- something unheard of -- and ratings are now falling or are flat across the schedule." News "audience migration to the Internet is now accelerating," but "online ad revenue to news websites now appears to be flattening; in newspapers it is declining. ... [A]lternative news sites, have continued to grow," but they remain few and small, "far from compensating for the losses in coverage in traditional newsrooms, and despite enthusiasm and good work, few if any are profitable or even self-sustaining." These "chilling" numbers led to the Project for Excellence in Journalism's "bleakest" annual report on the news business. There's an eager audience for online news, but "the news industry does not know -- and has done less than it could to learn -- how to convert this ... into revenue."


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In a recent Time magazine article, an editor questioned why media had engineered themselves into a corner where people would pay 20 cents for a 140 character text but absolutely nothing to read literally millions of words on a news site.

Perhaps that's where the answer lies, in twinning with phone companies, so that paid up mobile customers get free access.

And/or a Google wallet to allow micropayments - 1 cent a page perhaps?

Or be like Fox News, just make it up as you go along, and watch the ratings soar as the country's main demographic - under educated yobs get their jollies.

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